The Paw Print

Guidance counselor travels the world to learn more about herself

Photo+by+Mike+Kraft.
Photo by Mike Kraft.

Photo by Mike Kraft.

Photo by Mike Kraft.

Mike Pasquale, Guest Writer

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Rachel McBride lives a double life as a high school guidance counselor and an avid adventurist.

McBride has traveled to many places in different countries. The world gave her life lessons that only traveling could fulfill. She said, “Traveling has given me more balance and more perspective. I don’t freak about the things as much as I used to.”

The different countries she has traveled to has affected her life in a beneficial way, and she said the trips are everlasting. McBride said, “I think that the benefit to going over to those places is that you are able to see how other people live a daily life.”

In particular, McBride said her trip to Nairobi, Kenya was eye-opening. She said, “When [the natives] saw us, two tourists leaving the hotel, they were like, ‘well where are you going?’ Because it wasn’t necessarily safe for us being two white people in Nairobi. So it was really the first time where I understood how it feels: the tension between the races and a different perspective.”

Not only has McBride been able to see the daily lives of many others, but it’s made her change the way she acts and feels back home. As a guidance counselor for Mayfield High School, she said she is able to take in those experiences and put them to good use.

McBride said, “To me [traveling] is an experience to open your eyes and open your perspective and I think that as a teacher and a counselor to be able to share that and encourage people to do the same is awesome because it is such a big world out there and we are stuck in such a little bubble.”

One of McBride’s friends, Mia Bourdakos, claims that her stories impacted her in a beneficial way. She said, “I love hearing her stories and I feel like it makes me reflect on the world as a greater whole in that capacity.”

McBride takes time in planning her trips and said traveling across the world takes many hours to plan to make sure everything is in its place. To McBride, she likes to have everything set in stone, knowing where she is going and where she is staying for the night.

However, her recent travel partner and boyfriend, Mike Kraft, likes to reserve hotels as they go to new places and be flexible. The aspect of being able to go wherever adds excitement and nerves as McBride travels the world. McBride said, “We like to bounce around traveling and we might not know where we are staying. It kind of adds to the fun of it.”

She travels with many people, including her mother, longtime friend Michael Hughes, and her boyfriend. She said each trip embarks a new journey with new adventures, new experiences, and new viewpoints on how people around the world live.

McBride said, “This is their norms, this is how they do things and it is just so foreign to me. But that’s okay. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it is bad.”

Michael Hughes, a friend who has traveled with her, recalls that she is a great person to travel with. He said, “She is somebody that believes that travel is essential to learning more about, not just the world, but about yourself. She definitely takes advantage of any opportunity to travel and to have new experiences and learn more about the world.”

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Guidance counselor travels the world to learn more about herself